Got a jar of alfredo sauce lurking at the back of the pantry that you’ve been avoiding for months? Or maybe your family keeps complaining that the store-bought sauce is just not the same as your homemade version?
Don’t panic, it is incredibly easy to turn a store-bought alfredo sauce into a delicious family dinner!
So, what is the best way to improve store-bought alfredo sauce? To improve store-bought alfredo sauce, you can add ingredients to increase the richness of the sauce, such as cream or cheese. Adding spices and seasonings will bring out the flavor of the sauce and serving it with extra vegetables or meat is also a great solution to prevent it from tasting bland.
If you’re looking for new and exciting family dinner suggestions, then a jar of store-bought alfredo sauce is a great place to start.
Keep reading to find out how to make the most of this handy cupboard staple!
What Is Alfredo Sauce?
Alfredo sauce is one of the most indulgent and delicious pairings for pasta we have ever tried!
This traditional Italian sauce is white in color, with a thick and rich consistency. It is normally made by melting butter, cream, and parmesan cheese together – a calorific mix of heavenly deliciousness!
Most people have their own twist on the classic Alfredo sauce recipe. This can include adding herbs and flavorings, such as garlic and onion.
Some people also like to add depth of flavor with base ingredients like chicken stock or white wine.
And while it is not all that difficult to whip up an alfredo sauce from scratch, sometimes we just don’t have the time to prepare ingredients and stand stirring a pan!
Making a homemade Alfredo sauce also requires that you have fresh ingredients, such as cream, butter, and cheese in your refrigerator, whereas a jar of store-bought sauce will keep in the pantry for several months.
How Is Store Bought Alfredo Sauce Different From Homemade?
Store-bought Alfredo sauce contains many of the same ingredients as the homemade classic.
Even the most basic of sauces will contain three ingredients – butter, cheese, and either cream or milk. To ensure that the sauce remains fresh within the jar, it will also contain preservatives.
It is not uncommon for store-bought Alfredo sauce to include ingredients that we would not commonly use at home.
These may include thickeners, flavorings, and artificial colorants. It is also likely that your store-bought Alfredo sauce will include powdered onion or garlic.
The most common complaint that people have with store-bought Alfredo sauce is that it lacks flavor and that the consistency is not the same as a homemade sauce.
It is normally either too runny or too thick and gloopy.
Luckily, we can transform a store-bought Alfredo sauce into a homemade delight with just a few simple tricks!
So, if you’re looking for a quick and easy dinner recipe, then dig out that jar of Alfredo sauce from the back of the cupboard and get to work!
How To Make Store Bought Alfredo Sauce Taste Better
If you’re looking for a quick solution to make a bland Alfredo sauce taste more inspiring, then look no further!
These simple additions require the bare minimum of effort and will transform a dull and tasteless sauce into a delicious dinner.
The best place to start when improving a store-bought Alfredo sauce is to look toward the common ingredients.
So, while your jar of sauce might say that it contains cheese, butter, and cream, perhaps it just needs a bit more to bring it to life?
Warm the jar of Alfredo sauce gently in a saucepan, and add one, two, or all three of the following:
- A knob of fresh butter (either salted or unsalted will do)
- A splash of heavy cream
- Half a cup of grated Parmesan
All you are doing here is adding more of the sauce’s base ingredients, and this may be sufficient to turn an insipid sauce into something the whole family will enjoy.
If you are still not happy with the flavor of your sauce, there are some other ingredients that you can add directly to the warmed Alfredo mix:
- Freshly ground black peppercorns
- Chopped fresh basil leaves
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Dried herbs
What if the sauce tastes great but you don’t like the consistency? A sauce that is too thin can be thickened with cornstarch.
A thick and gloopy sauce can be transformed into something smooth and velvety with a splash of whole milk.
How To Improve The Quality Of Store Bought Alfredo Sauce
If you have a bit more time on your hands, there are some other ways we can make a store-bought Alfredo sauce taste simply sublime!
These hacks all require a little more preparation, but we guarantee that they are well worth the effort.
Wine is one of those mysterious ingredients that seems to make everything better! For a standard-sized jar of store-bought Alfredo sauce, you will need half a cup of white wine.
Pour the wine into a saucepan and bring it to a gentle simmer for a few minutes. This will ensure that the alcohol evaporates, leaving the delicious wine base in the pan.
Add a quarter of the sauce to the wine and stir thoroughly. Once the wine is mixed through the sauce you can add the remainder of the jar.
This method also works well with chicken stock, so if you’re not a fan of wine then swap for half a cup of hot stock instead.
Onions And Garlic
Whilst onion and garlic powder are a quick and easy hack, nothing tastes quite like the real thing!
Finely chop half an onion and a clove or two of garlic, and sauté them gently in butter until they are translucent.
Stir in the jar of store-bought Alfredo sauce and gently heat through. The buttery garlic and onion mixture will permeate through the sauce, adding richness and incredible flavor.
We’ve already suggested adding Parmesan to make your store-bought Alfredo sauce taste like the real thing, but other types of cheese and dairy products can also be used to transform a dull and tasteless sauce.
You could consider adding cheeses that are rich and full of intense flavors, such as Romano or Gran Padano.
Alternatively, why not try using up those loose ends of cheese you’ve got lurking at the back of the fridge – a chunk of Cheddar or Monterey Jack can work wonders!
Another cheesy product that can transform a sauce is cream cheese. If you’re watching your calorie intake, then opt for a low-fat version.
If store-bought Alfredo sauce is too sweet for your taste, then a generous spoonful of plain yogurt can help to balance this out.
The problem with Alfredo sauce is that it doesn’t contain any vegetables!
So, if you are trying to get some nutritious vitamins onto your family’s plates, then you will need to add some yourself. This is also a great way to add a splash of color to a dull white sauce.
To turn an indulgently rich Alfredo sauce into a healthy meal, consider adding red or yellow bell pepper, broccoli, carrot, zucchini, or asparagus to your store-bought sauce.
These will need to be cooked first, by either blanching, sautéing, or roasting.
Alfredo sauce is traditionally served with pasta such as Fettucine. Pairing this combination with meat is a good way to turn a store-bought sauce into a hearty meal.
Whatever you decide to add, it will need to be cooked before you add the Alfredo sauce. It will be difficult to cook meat thoroughly once the sauce is added due to its thick consistency.
Most of us have probably tried chicken in Alfredo sauce, and this is a winning combination.
However, you could try using other poultry meat such as turkey. The dark meat of turkey legs gives an intense flavor which contrasts well with a light Alfredo sauce.
Other types of meat such as beef and pork can also work well with store-bought Alfredo sauce.
If you’ve got some cooked meat leftover from a pot roast, this can be added directly to the sauce – a fabulously easy midweek dinner!
Another great suggestion is to add fish to your store-bought Alfredo sauce. Pretty much any type of fish will work well with this white sauce – salmon, tuna, and even prawns.
Best Spices To Add To Alfredo Sauce
If you’re happy with the texture and richness of your store-bought Alfredo sauce, you might want to just add in a bit more flavor with some spices, herbs, and seasonings.
A sprinkle of any of the following will pair perfectly with this white sauce – if you don’t have fresh herbs then dried will work perfectly well.
- Black pepper
- White pepper
- Cayenne pepper (this is hot, use with caution!)
- Red pepper flakes
If you want to add some zingy flavor to your store-bought Alfredo sauce, then a splash of lemon juice can also work wonders!
Before you head to the kitchen, let’s wrap up a few loose ends.
Can I Use Mozzarella Instead Of Parmesan In Alfredo?
Parmesan cheese is one of the base ingredients for Alfredo sauce, and many chefs would be horrified at using anything else.
But what if you want a white pasta sauce and don’t have any Parmesan – can you use Mozzarella instead?
Yes, you can absolutely substitute Mozzarella for Parmesan in an Alfredo sauce! Mozzarella will melt best if it has been grated first, and this is the tricky part.
The best way to grate Mozzarella is to pop it into the freezer for 30 minutes first! This will harden the soft cheese and make it easier to grate.
Then all you need to do is stir it into your hot Alfredo sauce.
What’s The Best Way To Store Alfredo Sauce?
If you’ve made (or improved) a batch of Alfredo sauce, you will want to ensure it is kept at its absolute best so it’s ready for your next pasta feast!
Freshly-made Alfredo sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to six days.
The best storage canister is a jar with a lid, or alternatively, you can use an airtight plastic container.
Homemade Alfredo sauce also stores well in the freezer. Decant the sauce into Ziplock bags or airtight containers, label with the date, and stack in the freezer.
It will stay in perfect condition for up to six months.